Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Burnout 2 gets arcade-style racing right. It's accessible to casual racers even as it rewards diligent gamers who master its nuances--both groups will find entertainment aplenty. You can compete in standard races, one-on-one police chases, or the mesmerizing Crash mode, which rates spectacular chain-reaction collisions based on monetary damages (in slow-motion, no less). An ingenious boost system awards turbo power for reckless near-misses and power-slides. It's a nice risk/reward setup that infuses the races with a thrilling sense of unpredictability-- a daring move can send a leader zooming to the finish (or wiping out head-on at 160 mph), while laggards will enjoy the everpresent chance at a stylish comeback. But it ain't all roses and daisies. The shortage of really cool cars is a letdown. Also, collision physics are literally hit-or-miss: Solid strikes momentarily suspend the action as the game lovingly renders your crash, but oblique contact is consequence-free--you're nudged around guardrails and other cars auto-magically. And for no good reason, the turn-based four-player Crash mode makes you pass around one controller even if others are plugged in. These annoyances notwithstanding, Burnout 2 is fun as hell.
This is the most tun I've had racing since N64's San Francisco Rush days. But Burnout's got that series beat with the excellent speed-boosting Paul mentioned. The single-player missions are solid (except when you need to win all gold medals to move on), and they're complemented by intense, addictive multiplayer modes. Even after playing it for a week, I didn't want to quit. I won't be puttin' this down until F-Zero shows up.
That curmudgeonly Paul is selling Burnout 2 short. It's easy to get into, intensely fun, and horribly addictive--the best racer on the Cube by a long shot. In fact, this version is even marginally better than its PlayStation 2 incarnation. By doubling the number of Crash mode levels, the developers pump up the game's best minigame--a thoroughly satisfying smash-em-up where mega-damage is the goal. A must for arcade-style driving fans.
Download Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Reviewing Burnout 2 for GameCube last month, I got my first taste of the series and was totally blown away. I’ve always enjoyed good arcade racers (with fond memories of SF Rush for N64), and Burnout 2 is this generation’s king. It jump-starts the genre with a vicious kick to the teeth—an ingenious risk/reward system that gives you boosts for pulling stunts like dodging traffic, catching air, and drifting. Xboxers luck out with the most polished Burnout yet, and a handful of thoughtful tweaks will inspire envy in PS2 and GC vets. On the other consoles, after unlocking three cars or so, you earn a practically maxed-out car, giving you no incentive to use weaker unlock-ables. Now, new cars gradually improve in various areas, so you’ll actually want to check out each successive ride. The other big improvement: music. This Xbox revision gives you a wider soundtrack selection (some are at least bearable, if not enjoyable). Plus, you can rip your own tunes into the game. In all, this is the best version of an already addictive experience.
Shame on me for waiting so long to try out this glorious racer. Burnout 2’s kamikaze driving had me hooked—I couldn’t stop until I’d unlocked every vehicle and course in the single-player campaign. Multiplayer is also a blast, and the Crash minigames are superaddictive. The Xbox Live score-ranking feature is barely worth mentioning, though. Hopefully, a sequel will offer real online action (and licensed cars). Wish list aside, if Ford’s comments and mine don’t convince you to play Burnout 2, then shame on you.
Burnout 2 will thrill lead-footed gamers with its awesome boost system and wicked sense of speed. It’s a great game with some rough edges, like occasionally rubbery physics and an irritating parade of recap screens after every damn race. Unlike G. Ford, I think the car selection remains weak: There’s always one ride that clearly trumps the rest. Music doesn’t really affect gameplay, but the Xbox’s ability to play the Pixies (or even Poison) while you compete is a nice addition to this swift arcade racer.
When Burnout 2: Point of Impact appeared on the PS2 about seven months ago, owners of Sony's next generation console were treated to one of the finest arcade-oriented racers of all time. Complete with foot-to-the-floor racing action and spectacular crashes around every corner, Burnout 2 managed to keep the complaints to a minimum. That is, um, except for all the GameCubers out there who, once again, had to patiently wait for a conversion. Well, the time has finally arrived and their patience has been rewarded with a game that has everything that the PS2 version has, along with a number of improvements.
The game starts out with a mandatory but brief training mode that demonstrates and instructs you on the finer points of steering, power sliding, and navigating oncoming traffic to optimize your turbo boost. Although single races are available, you'll want to play through the Championship Mode. Like most racers, this is where you'll be able to unlock all the other little goodies that the game has to offer. As you progress through a series of races on different tracks, finishing first in each race means new modes, new vehicles, and new racing environments. If all of this sounds like another boring arcade racer, then hold on to your hats my friends, I think I hear Crash Mode calling. In Crash Mode, you're actually rewarded for the amount of damage you cause in each crash. And I'm talking about some of the fiercest collisions you've ever seen in a video game. The game also features sweet multiplayer modes, which offer several combinations of split-screen, two-player, CPU-human competitions, as well as a four player Crash Tournament. While both the PS2 and GameCube versions offer the same tight control, as I mentioned earlier, the GameCube version features several enhancements, including 15 more crash junctions, six new locations in cities across the United States, and a new custom series mode which allows you to race in modified vehicles.
While the game play will keep you busy for days on end, you won't be too busy to notice the absolutely brilliant graphics. Highly detailed car models and racing environments are complimented by a fast and fluid frame rate and sense of speed that is unmatched by any other current GameCube racer. A thumping musical sound track that adjusts to the ebb and flow of the on-screen action is accompanied by realistic audio effects that bump and grind with the support of Dolby Pro logic II.
In case you haven't noticed, I like this game and I like it a lot. And while I tend to prefer simulation-style racers to arcade racers, there's no question, this game's got me hooked. Burnout 2 combines tight control and frantic game play with stunning audio/visuals that scream next-generation from start to finish. Don't pass it up!
I know what you're probably saying to yourself. A great racing game from Acclaim? Well, if you don't believe me, read this fine review written about the PS2 version of Burnout 2 a while back' pay no attention to the fact that I wrote that very same review. This is a suped up, hot new version of Burnout 2, dubbed the Developer's Cut, with added car skins, an online leaderboard, and additional crash tracks.
For those of you that haven't played before, you're in for a treat. Most racing games can suffer from an utterly ridiculous and disappointing physics engine that would rather bounce a car around like a ping pong ball than actually race. Others are ultra-realistic, difficult to learn, but usually a pleasure to drive. Burnout 2 strikes a happy medium that makes it not too realistic, and not too arcade like. It's easy to pick up the controller and start playing, and although you might not be completely competitive to begin with, it's an easy hand for learning. Featuring a decent engine that only goes overboard when you're creating a crash at an intersection, I wish I had another game on my shelf that played so well right out of the package.
The structure of the game is ultimately the same as the PS2 version, with single races, multiplayer races, an offensive driving school tutorial, along with a championship mode, and my favorite, the crash mode. There's nothing like getting your car up to 150+ MPH, and then barreling head long into a busy intersection, looking to cause as much damage as possible. This title supports Dolby Digital 5.1, if you've got a sound system nice enough to use it, and thanks to the graphics power of the Xbox, it really shines. I suspect, however, that the original PS2 version was already pushed close to its limit, as you won't find too much in the way of improved graphics here. In my opinion, that's somewhat of an oddity given the relative disparity of quality seen in most games that get released on both systems.
Finally, it's got a great soundtrack that, for being imitation rock, does a great job of keeping you in the feel of the game. I cannot finish this review without saying that I absolutely love this game.
It's been a while since I've gotten my hands on a quality racing title, but I'd like to think I know what one looks like. Burnout 2 definitely fits my criteria for being one hell of a good game. It exploits the console environment perfectly, with unlockable features, and enough party elements to make it fun for a group of friends.
First and foremost, I like the way it handles driving. Before you can play the full race mode, it takes you through Offensive Driving 101, teaching you the most important elements of gameplay, which are also tied to fueling the boost meter, which lets you achieve dramatic speeds. Driving through oncoming traffic, sliding through a turn, and taking jumps are all important skills, without which you'll be ill equipped to progress far through the game. Burnout features a championship racing mode that has trophy races (multiple tracks), one on one races (one track, unlocks a secret car), and pursuit mode, where you'll take on the role of a police officer, required to chase down stop a criminal.
My favorite mode is the Crash game, where you can drive a car at high speed into an intersection full of cars and trucks, looking to create the largest possible accident, totaling millions of dollars in damages. Many of the normal modes are available as multiplayer games, including Crash and Pursuit mode, making Burnout 2 a great party game.
Visually, Burnout 2 is quite attractive. I'd wager, with its large, luscious levels, and relatively high detail levels, that it's competitive with any Xbox racing title. The sound is great, with good sound effects, and an awesome soundtrack that's creative, and doesn't rely on the overused pop music present in so many games of recent times. Without a doubt, it's the game I've had the most fun with recently, and I loved playing it. One last thing: This puppy loads fast'real fast'so you won't need to wait long for your fix.